Weekly overview (2016, week 34): 1 new brand and 40 new pedals

collage of this week's updates

1 new brand

  1. GearBox Audio

40 new effects

  1. 6 Degrees FX FamiComp
  2. 6 Degrees FX The Gear Box
  3. Adventure Audio Fuzz Peaks
  4. Adventure Audio Glacial Zenith - Overdrive
  5. Adventure Audio Whateverb
  6. Airis Effects Solar Flare Overdrive
  7. Airis Effects The Doomsday Delay
  8. Airis Effects The Savage Drive
  9. Alexander Pedals Chesapeake - Chorus/Vibrato
  10. Alexander Pedals Reverse Radical
  11. Alexander Pedals SpaceXpander
  12. Cog Effects Grand Tarkin Mk2 - Bass Fuzz
  13. Cog Effects Knightfall 66 - Overdrive
  14. Cog Effects Mini 66 Bass Overdrive
  15. Cog Effects T-47 Analogue Octave
  16. Cog Effects T-65 Analogue Octave Mk2
  17. Cog Effects T-70 Analogue Octave
  18. Cog Effects Tarkin Mk2 - Fuzz
  19. D-Sound v.4
  20. Donner Deluxe Looper
  21. Donner DI - Active Micro Direct Box
  22. Donner DP-2 Power Supply
  23. Donner DT Deluxe - Mini Tuner Pedal
  24. Donner Equalizer - Mini 5-band Graphic EQ
  25. Donner Golden Tremolo
  26. Donner Noise Killer
  27. Donner Ultimate Delay - Stereo 11 Mode Delay
  28. Donner Wah Cry - Mini Wah/Volume
  29. Hiero Effects Explicit Fuzz
  30. Hiero Effects Heretic Fuzz
  31. Hiero Effects Neophobic Overdrive
  32. Hiero Effects Overwhelmer Distortion
  33. JHS Pedals Calhoun - Mike Campbell Limited Edition Signature 2-in-1 Pedal
  34. JHS Pedals Ruby Red - Butch Walker Signature 2-in-1 Overdrive/Fuzz/Boost
  35. Matthews Effects The Astronomer/Cosmonaut Dual Reverb
  36. Matthews Effects The Cosmonaut - Modulated Void Reverb
  37. Matthews Effects The Harbinger - Distortion
  38. MXR Custom Shop CSP-035 Shin-Juku Drive
  39. SviSound OverZoid+ oz01+
  40. SviSound Techno-OV - Mini Soft Germanium Overdrive

Overviews of the previous weeks: http://www.effectsdatabase.com/updates/weekly

Discuss these updates at the forum: http://forum.effectsdatabase.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=577

[review] Fuzzrocious Ram The Manparts (by Tim)

General

At NAMM the guys from Fuzzrocious brought their Ram the Manparts with a bit of a twist; the pedal now comes in blue instead of red and has a slightly different wording as well. To give you a quick overview; this is an extreme fuzz pedal, even at moderate settings (around 12 o’clock) and is probably best suited for people with an appetite for destruction. It features a volume control, a boost toggle and also a “voltage sag”, which basically means that you can starve the chip inside to get some interesting sounds. Turn the right dial all the way down and your sound will completely disappear!

[review] Electro-Harmonix XO Key 9 Electric Piano Machine (by Tim)

General impressions

The EHX Key 9 comes with just enough buttons and inputs, you don’t feel overwhelmed when faced with all the control dials. The operation of the pedal is also very easy and straightforward; you get a dry and a wet volume and two control dials. Usually Ctrl 1 is for the intensity of the effect, Ctrl 2 is to determine the speed. Last but not least there’s the voicing dial with 9 sounds to choose from (hence the name). The pedal comes with a DC adapter, it uses 9 volts like most other pedals, so it won’t be too much of a hassle to put on your pedalboard.

[review] Electro-Harmonix Cock Fight - Cocked Talking Wah (by Tim)

General

The EHX Cock Fight is what is called a “static wah”, meaning you have a regular wah pedal stuck at a certain frequency. You can of course change this sound by turning the freq. knob on the pedal. In total there are two way modes, called “cry” (more like a regular wah) and “talk” (which sounds a bit like a voice box). As an added bonus you also get a built-in fuzz in the pedal, which can be put pre-signal or post, which gives you more sounds to play with. The biggest feature in my opinion is the fact that you get the option to use an expression pedal as well, which turns the pedal into a regular wah. I do recommend this to get the maximum potential out of the Cock Fight. The pedal comes in a big box with a complimentary DC Adapter, but you can also put this on your pedalboard with any 9V power supply in liking to a Boss pedal.

NAMM Press Release: Demand for Personalized Sound Presses Boutique Pedal Market Forward

Carlsbad, CA, (December 10, 2015) – Demand for customized, unique sound is driving fretted products and effects sales to a seven-year high, while fueling a new wave of boutique pedal builders. Over the last decade, the retail value of the effects pedal category has increased more than 45%, with a 13.7% gain in 2014.

Pedal builders will have a noticeably larger presence at the NAMM Show this January 21-24 as boutique brands including Strymon, Walrus Audio, Chase Bliss Audio and Dwarfcraft Devices join established brands Boss, Dunlop Manufacturing Inc., Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, EarthQuaker Devices, Electro-Harmonix, Pigtronix, Seymour Duncan, TC Electronic and Wampler Pedals to debut new effects gear at the NAMM Show.

The emergence of hundreds of up-and-coming pedal brands can be traced to new technology and easier global distribution, of both ideas and components. Robert Keeley, founder of Keeley Electronics, Inc., has seen his Edmond, OK business double since 2012. It is now producing more than 2,000 units per month. “Our products are almost completely hand-built and we cater to a group of people who are in the market for specialty-purpose pedals,” said Keeley. Big- name players including John Mayer, Jimmy Buffet and Dream Theater’s John Petrucci are among those who have called on Keeley for customized pedals, with some of those pedals crossing over into a limited-edition commercial run.

Joel Korte, founder of Minnesota-based Chase Bliss Audio has seen sales double in the last year and adds, “Musicians like to experiment with sound using pedals because the experience is very visceral and pedals are hands-on and offer the artist control right away.”

Affordability has also emerged as a major factor in the surge as artists add distortion, phasers and vibrato to their signature sound. The cottage industry of boutique pedal makers offers ways to tweak and discover sounds for an average price of $100-$400 dollars.

Many of these emerging builders, including Akron, Ohio’s family-owned EarthQuaker Devices, have also focused on demonstrating their products for non-traditional pedal players, such as sax, synth and violin players. Julie Robbins of EarthQuaker Devices emphasizes that innovative, specialty-designed sound is a key factor in the company’s success. “We answer the call of experimental musicians who love to create sounds that inspire them to go in new directions,” said Robbins. “Some just want to recreate classic tones, while others use their pedals as a way to actually define their newest album, and we cater to both.”

Demand is also up for pedals that couple long-lasting new technology with “old school” parts to create coveted “vintage” analog sounds. Pete Celi, co-founder of growing Southern California builder Strymon, says interest in vintage pedals has skyrocketed, including tape delays, vintage amp tremolos, pedals from the 70s, but he notes these originals can be unreliable on tour and prices make those purchases beyond the reach of most musicians. “This creates an opportunity for pedals that can capture those sought-after sounds and yet be conveniently and reliably used at gigs,” said Celi.

Strymon employs a one-on-one strategy with musicians, regularly holding open-studio parties. Celi says the conversations are paying off. “We believe everybody is an artist.”

Last chance to buy a shirt and help me go to NAMM!

1 day left to support my trip to the NAMM show in January.

December 1 is the last day to order a T-shirt from the Teespring campaign.

Reasons to buy one:

[review] T-Rex Quint Machine (by Bieke)

T-Rex from Vejle, Denmark started out in the mid nineties, making MIDI switchers and then moved to making guitar effect pedals. Their first pedal line up consisted of a compressor, tremolo, overdrive and distortion and these were embraced by the pedal aficionados and praised as being top quality pedals.

They were. And T-Rex did not stop there and went on to release great sounding modulation and time based effects. Apart from a side step into the world of boutique guitar amps, T-Rex continuously specialized in designing guitar pedals and accessories and unleashed the affordable Tonebug series, the Dual function pedals, a series of tube pedals, power supplies, pedalboards and bags, even multi effect and more recently a ... wait for it ... tape delay – ay - ay – ay.

So, T-Rex has not been sitting still and kept reinventing their own line of pedals, nowadays it consists of a line-up of sleek compact pedals. One effect that T-Rex did not offer was a pitch shifter.

Until now. Read on to find out more about the T-Rex Quint Machine.

T-Rex Quint MachineThe looks

A compact size pedal, it measures 60x50x117 mm, in a distinguished purple brownish color with a  darker striping pattern, in- and output and 9V DC socket on top.

Red status LED and soft FET bypass on/off switch, slightly off center. T-Rex badge in the middle.

The Quint Machine has 4 controls, Fifth Up, +1 and -1 Octave and Mix.

Stylish cream colored fluted knobs with black markers

The Quint Machine also takes 9V batteries, but drains these instantly, so better to user a power supply. And you need a special tool to gain access to the battery compartment, so not that practical.

Soon? T-Rex Replicator

It appears we're getting closer to the release date of the T-Rex Replicator Tape Echo.

I added some official pictures and more info to the page and I replaced my YouTube videos with better versions (something went wrong with most of the videos I made at Musikmesse when I rendered them the first time, so they were only online for a short time).

Michael's introduction: description

Lars' introduction: features,...

The demo

New T-shirts coming soon (to fund my trip to Winter NAMM 2016)

T-shirts v3

NAMM 2016 is still 3 months away, but I started making plans to attend again, hopefully without NAMMthrax and blisters from hell this time, but not wearing brand new shoes and not having to run to catch a plane after arriving with the wrong passport first should help! I try to go every other year but my 2nd son made me skip an extra year.
Since the costs for such a trip (from Belgium...) are quite high I decided to do another T-shirt campaign to help me fund it.

With the previous batches I got a lot of requests for a black shirt, so that will definitely be one of the options. Yes, "one of", I'll probably offer quite a lot of colors (all with the same colors of print).
It's possible that I'll do 2 campaigns: 1 for shirts printed in the US (as last times) and one for shirts printed in Europe (cheaper shipping) if I can make that clear on the campaign pages (at the manufacturer's site).

The shirt will show the Effects Database logo (again), but with a bigger "monster" and smaller text than the previous shirts. The logo was designed by David Medel aka Weirdbeard72, who also designed a lot of gig posters, shirts, cd covers and pedals for Catalinbread, Earthquaker Devices,...

Shirts from the previous campaigns (for NAMM 2013 and a small one for those who missed that) were bought by a lot of badass/cool/lovely/... people/friends including a lot of pedal manufacturers (including Mike Matthews from Electro-Harmonix!) and "media people" (Burgs, JustNick, Rebecca Dirks,...) and other friends/followers/readers from around the world (USA, UK, Norway, Argentina, Greece, Austrlia,...) as you can see here (Facebook album) and here (pictures of the first campaign only, but here on this site).

I'll show these shirts on social media a few more times, just to avoid getting a lot of questions for shirts after the campaign is over ;-)

[review] Joyo Ironman JF-312 Pipebomb - Compressor (by LievenDV)

This tiny sized pedal won't leave a big footprint on your pedalboard and it won't set you back much. But is it worth even the small investment? For many, a compressor is an effect that is too subtle to invest in but it can certainly help you in sounding consistent. Especially for rhythm players or acoustic aficionado's a compressor is a useful tool in the box.

Joyo Pipe Bomb CompressorThis pedal has a few nice quirks like a lid to shield of the tiny knobs for the impact of your big feet. Whether it is to prevent breaking off knobs or for keeping you from altering your settings while stomping it, it sure channels you into a "set and forget" scenario.

The knobs are a bit small but they are usable enough because of their shape and color. With this small size, they allow you to have 4 controls: Volume, sensitivity, mix dry/wet and attack response time. (what should be more than enough options for such a small pedal)

You'll know when it's on; 2 obvious clear leds will tell you. That might be another reason to close the lid. When closed, the logo on the lid shines and that's a nice touch. I think the power input on the right side might be problematic for some plugs so I wonder if there went as much thinking in that as in the lid.

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